Baltimore Orioles bled to death by one thousand cuts

Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

LOakland did everything but hit the Baltimore Orioles hard, but yet they defeated the Birds in game one of a doubleheader.

The Baltimore Orioles are a group of fastball hitters who do fairly well against fastball and power pitchers. However they tend to struggle when they face soft-tossers who throw primarily off-speed pitches. Chalk it up as one of those things that kind of makes sense…but kind of doesn’t.

Mike Wright probably pitched better than he thinks he did, if his angry reaction to being pulled is any indication. Wright’s line: 5 IP, 10 H, 5 R (4 earned) 2 BB, 3 K. The issue of course was that he was pitching against former Oriole Rich Hill, who’s exactly what I described above. Wright had exactly one ball tagged hard on him – the rest of those ten hits were dinks and dunks.

In reality, most of the hits Wright gave up were hit just slowly enough to allow the runner to reach. You have to tip your cap to the Oakland hitters, as they managed to do the exact opposite of what most guys want to do. Whereas everyone in the world wants to hit the ball over the fence, their goal was just to reach base. And their soft hits managed to achieve just that.

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  • If in fact Oakland wasn’t resorting to infield hits, their balls were finding holes. They hit against the Oriole shifts, and trickled balls through gaps. That was just how this game went. They took a 1-0 lead in the second inning on Semien’s RBI-single, and extended it to 3-0 an inning later on Vogt’s sac fly-RBI. However in the mean time, Hill was shutting down Oriole bats – with his soft pitches. Had to be frustrating from the Orioles’ standpoint.

    The aforementioned hard tag was an RBI-double off the bat of Reddick in the

    Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
    Courtesy of Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /

    fifth, giving Oakland a 3-0 lead. An inning later Lowrie’s two-RBI single put the O’s behind 6-0. The Orioles would get a run back however in the last of the fifth when Adam Jones netted an RBI on a fielder’s choice. However Oakland took two back in the eighth on Semien’s two-run homer.

    The O’s would get a run back in the last of the ninth on an RBI-single off the bat of Rickart. Alvarez would also plate a two-RBI double in the last of the ninth to cut the final margin to 8-4. The O’s had a competitive ninth inning, which bodes well for them in the second game – and onward. They also forced Oakland to use an extra reliever, which also bodes well.

    This was a combination of Oakland pitching shutting the Orioles down, and Oakland bats finding gaps and trickling balls in where they shouldn’t have gone. The bad news from the Orioles’ standpoint is that this has been a blueprint to beat them for some time – just ask teams like Tampa and Kansas City. However the good news is that there aren’t too many pitchers like Rich Hill who can effectively pitch slowly.

    More from Orioles News

    This of course was game one of a doubleheader, following last night’s rain out. The O’s optioned T.J. McFarland to Norfolk before the game in order to make room for Paul Janish (who they called up and who started at shortstop this afternoon). Being a doubleheader day, both teams will have the ability to add a 26th man to the roster for game two this evening…

    …while not set in stone, it’s believed that McFarland will be the Orioles’ 26th man. So I suspect that he’ll be called right back up to the big leagues before tonight’s game. It’s unclear whether or not Janish will be staying with the Orioles moving forward, or what’s going to happen. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    Next: Baltimore Orioles' offense being figured out by the competition?

    Game two will be this evening at Camden Yards. Ubaldo Jimenez will get the start for the O’s, and he’ll be opposed by Oakland’s Jesse Hahn. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.